Ever wish travel was a bit slower? A little more serene? Fewer tours, more gazing out over the horizon? Heading out on holiday over the open waves is a truly romantic choice for your next holiday, but whether you’ve only just got your sea legs or have battened down many a hatch, it pays to sail only the best of the seven seas.
To give you some steer on your next sailing trip, we’ve studied our charts to find the best sailing destinations in Europe – perfect for your 2023 getaway!
Cote d’Azur, France
This well-known celeb hotspot includes top locations like Saint Tropez and Monaco – perfect if you’re looking for some of the finer things in life.
That said though, it’s not all hyper-luxury. Down the coast, you’ll find hilltop towns, ancient villages and more, as well as beautiful natural sights, rugged cliffs and quiet coves. You can even sail out to the Îles d’Hyères archipelago and disembark to see rare birds and explore a wonderful national park on foot or by bike.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is famous for a reason – colourful towns, incredible heritage, beautiful views – so much so that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There are lots of options here: head along the Amalfi from Naples to Salerno and enjoy the cliffside vistas that make this area so popular, go from Naples to Capri to enjoy a taste of the finer things on the beautiful island, or travel further afield for an adventure at nearby Sardinia. The Amalfi coast is a popular destination though, so it is advisable to take out boat insurance before you travel – you wouldn’t want to get caught out if a bump or accident happens, after all!
Greece’s Mediterranean coastline is well known as some of the most beautiful in the world, and the Sporades is definitely a gem worth visiting. This group of islands in the North Aegean Sea includes around 24 isles, with the main four being Alonnisos, Skiathos, Skopelos, and Skyros.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing island holiday or want to escape the crowd, there’s plenty to see when touring this area of the Aegean, including Alonissos’ marine park and Skyros’ Byzantine Castle – perfect for history lovers.
Baltic Sea, Germany
Don’t fancy blue waters and white beaches? If you’re hunting for a cooler, more windswept experience, the Baltic Sea is a great choice.
Heading along a dramatic, darker coastline, a cruise through the Baltic involves sailing past cliffs topped by thick woodland, exploring deep fjords, sailing salt lagoons, and much more. Denmark to Germany is a particularly good choice, offering plenty of islands, bays, and stretches of sea.
Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Possibly the unrivalled European sailing destination for wild scenery is the Outer Hebrides, a collection of rugged islets that lie just off the north-west coast off Scotland.
This route is best enjoyed when you sail along the east coast of the Hebrides as this offers more shelter from weather that can be as unpredictable and wild as the scenery around you. Journey from Stornoway, the area’s capital, to the southernmost islands beyond Barra, an itinerary that will bring you to small fishing villages, idyllic countryside, vast lochs, and the World Heritage Site of St. Kilda.
So, there you have it: some of the most fantastic sailing destinations available around Europe – perfect for your 2023 holiday. Think you know a better place to visit? Let us know your thoughts and opinions on @coastradar social channels.